A suitcase is a form of luggage. It is a rectangular container with a handle and is typically used to carry one's clothes and other belongings while traveling. The first suitcases appeared in the late 19th century due to the increased popularity of mass tourism at the time and were meant to hold dress suits. They were originally made using heavier materials such as leather or steel, but, beginning in the 1930s, were constructed with more lightweight materials like plastic and cardboard.
Before the 1970s, the idea of rolling luggage was shunned by the travel industry, who viewed it as much less masculine than traditional luggage. American entrepreneur Bernard Sadow pitched his version of the wheeled suitcase, for which he was granted a patent in 1972, to various department stores before it was picked up and sold at Macy's stores starting in 1970. It took several years to become the predominant form of suitcase, and Sadow's version was soon superseded by the Rollaboard, a type of wheeled suitcase that was upright rather than flat like Sadow's model and invented in 1987 by American pilot Robert Plath. The addition of wheels to the suitcase has since been called one of the most significant innovations in travel.
Smart suitcases with enhanced capabilities such as GPS tracking and device charging were popularized in the 2010s, though explosions of their lithium ion batteries in cargo holds caused them to be banned from being checked by many major airlines in the late 2010s.
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